View Full Version : feeding two dogs....

31st March 2007, 03:07 AM
Tonight I tried something new. Usually I prepare their food then feed then plop Katy's food dish in her x-pen and she climbs in after it (eeek).
Then I put Teddy's food down for him in the laundry room.
Well, I put their dishes down in the laundry room tonight and I monitored their feeding by standing between them. I made sure Katy did not make a bee-line for Teddy's dish. Usually, when she comes out of her x-pen after eating, she goes into the laundry room and gets a drink from the water bowl then licks Teddy's dish---of course it is empty!

I want to be able to put down their dishes in the laundry room and have that be the eating place for the doggies. Is this appropriate? I do not want any guarding behavior and I know I will have to monitor while they are eating....they both eat soooo fast....wonder if they even CHEW?

Should I continue this or not?
Calling all dog behavior expert opinions.

Teddy and sweet, little Katydid

31st March 2007, 03:18 AM
hi Nancy,

Faith was growling at us and Kosmo when she first came for getting close to her food. I asked opinions of everybody and was told that many separate their dogs while feeding but there are also many people who feed them in the same room. I was determined to feed mine in the same room and overcome that problem.

I dealt with Faith's guarding problem but that didn't take long - I think she was just finding her place here.. Since just about the day she came home she's been eating in the same room as Kosmo. I stay in the kitchen with them while they're eating but they don't have a problem. Faith will eat hers and then kosmo will go lick her empty bowl every time.. :roll: If Kos doesn't eat his right away I have to moniter Faith to make sure she doesn't steal it but we're generally pretty lucky.

Good luck to you! :flwr:

31st March 2007, 03:27 AM
Sounds good Sara!
I really can't stand watching Katy freak and then climb up the pen and jump in....she is going to hurt herself!
Tonight was step one. I would like to get her to sit and wait like Teddy....then eat with the command.
Two polite doggies ;) HOPEFULLY...Katy has Teddy all wound up now....barking and jumping and acting crazy.
I want nice, polite doggies and I want to be in charge of when then eat ...sit nice then command to eat.
Thanks Sara! :flwr:

Teddy and sweet, little Katydid

31st March 2007, 03:55 AM
I am not the greatest trainer, so to make eating a quiet event, I feed the dogs in their crates. They are well mannered and then no one is stealing the other's food. If you have 2 crates, this works too. If you find that you do not have success in your current plan of action.

31st March 2007, 04:10 AM
Back in the days when we had 7 Boxers they all fed together out of the one huge dish and there was never any problems. I actually love that kind of feeding.

However, once senior-citizen status struck, I found that some were getting a little plump, so I had to start feeding them separately. Maybe because they had a lifetime of community eating I could never get them to stick to their own dishes. They'd all eat in harmony out of the one dish & then all move on to the next.

So how I have to separate them whilst eating. Has nothing to do with fights, and everything to do with ensuring that one doesn't guts down too much, while the other goes a bit hungry.

I find that Sonny who we adopted, is more territorial about his food and even though he might not wish to eat it himself, he will snap at the others if they come near it. My understanding is that the breeders/previous owner of Sonny fed him alone in his crate.

Personally, I like the community eating ethos. I just find it easier, more friendly, but as you can see above, there are some drawbacks.

I hope my comments help you in making your decision.

31st March 2007, 04:28 AM
When Milly first joined the family, I fed her separately out in the mudroom, behind a baby gate from the kitchen. After about a week, I decided to see if I couldn't feed them side-by-side. The set up I have is that I've got two plastic doggy placemats butted up, side-by-side, with a water bowl on each so that the water bowls are in the middle. Then when I feed them I put their food dishes down at the opposite ends, with the water bowls serving as a divider (their food bowls are maybe 2-1/2 feet apart, and they can't push their bowls at each other as they eat, because the water bowls block the way). At first I stood in between them monitoring what was happening, in case any problems developed, but they are really great with this system and I don't have to watch them at all (though I do anyway out of the corner of my eye).

The drill is that I always call them over while still holding their bowls, then make them both sit before I put their food down. Pepper's an old hand at that, but Milly's still learning. She doesn't see the point.

Once they are finished eating, they always check out each other's empty bowl, but then they're off to clean their faces on a carpet somewhere. :) So it's all working very well. I believe that Milly's former family (breeder) fed each of her 8 dogs from individual bowls (I can't imagine this!), so she was already used to the concept of eating her own dinner and not going after someone else's food--at least not while that someone else was still eating it!

matties mum
31st March 2007, 10:54 AM
Well we have 3 dogs they all have the same and will wait for theres they are put down down at the same time they eat their own then go and lick each others bowl out ----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)

Claire L
31st March 2007, 11:54 AM
My two girlies are rescues. Minnie came first and would not eat out of her bowl, I had to hand feed her and then slowly entice her towards her bowl :sl*p: When Cara arrived about three weeks later, I was afraid at first to feed them together because of all the stuff I'd read about guarding etc, but I needn't have worried - they are absolutely fine together. Cara has a green bowl and Minnie's is yellow and YES they each recognise their own bowl. I started feeding them at separate ends of the kitchen but now I feed them about two feet apart. They enjoy their meals together and when finished , they check out each others bowl. If one finishes (usually Cara) before the other , I just say leave and they wait until the other one is finished and then check out the bowls
You do have to watch them at first, just so they learn table(floor) manners :lol:


lady and amber
31st March 2007, 12:22 PM
I have two cavaliers Lady is a 6year old ruby and Amber a 3year old b/t. Lady is a dog that lives to eat and Amber is the type that eats to live. I feed lady in the kitchen but Amber will only eat if I hand feed her. I would love to be able to feed them both in the kitchen so if you can give me some tips on getting Amber to feed herself it would be much appreciated. Lynne

31st March 2007, 12:30 PM
There's no reason not to feed them in the same room *as long as you are there to monitor and as long as you are aware the dogs do not have problems.* Also problems can arise where they weren't before which is partly why it is important to monitor. And of course the point that if you are not watching you cannot tell if each is eating properly or one is taking the others' food etc. All dog personalities vary so your mileage may vary with such a plan. :)

I think it wise to keep at least 2 feet between dogs and to never try to force dogs to eat together. There is no reason to put dogs into potentially risky situations in order to make things easier for us when it is maybe saving us what, four steps across the room to put the bowls further apart? Bending over twice to put each bowl in a crate? This is NOT a great 'sacrifice' for a dog owner. Eating close together also is is not necessarily a normal situation for many dogs and you can risk some brutal fights as food is a high value item for any dog and a number one trigger for fights. Remember wild canids eating together can get in ruthless fights when communally eating. It is a key time to challenge other dogs/canids.

My three all eat about 3-4 feet apart right under my watchful eye, all facing away from each other in different corners. Leo and Jaspar will potentially go for each other if one comes near the others' food and both would go take Lily's food if not watched -- she gets far less then them but eats more slowly. This is NOT GUARDING BEHAVIOUR, it is simply defending their meal (guarding is quite different, a longer term behavioural issue). Jaspar eats more slowly than Leo (except with raw food) so I have to watch eaqch of them as they finish up. Once all three are done they all go between each others' bowls for a lick and investigation. There are no problems once the food is gone.

If my kitchen were large enough I'd keep crates there and feed them in crates. This is how most professional trainers I know feed their dogs. Intead I do the best I can with the space available -- and obviously that will influence how people feed as well.

I free feed my cats after they get their communal plate of wet food in the morning.... but Quincy over time is getting fat so that approach is going to have to change.

Claire L
31st March 2007, 01:36 PM
:oops: forgot to mention, I would NEVER leave them un-supervised during meal times. No matter how well behaved they appear to be. We all know that we as humans have our off days :x so do doggies :roll:


31st March 2007, 03:15 PM
Great advice friends---Thank you!
I have the room ---I just thought that it may be easier for me (Karlin-I see your point...afew extra steps-big deal!) but also because, I thought the dogs should learn to eat together ---yet be a distance apart-will add that tonite. The laundry room is plenty big enough for both mats and bowls and the tall wastebasket will be put in between the mats. They will be far apart, tho'.
Teddy is no problem...as before noted, I've never had a female dog before. She is definitely a little firecracker! She knows what she wants and never hesitates to get it ;) ! She is the one who almost always initiates chase games with Teddy and he will gently take things (toys) from her to get the games going. She is a little bit of a thing.....but she has a mouth like a fire alarm! She is the watchdog and she is constantly on the move...requiring little sleep---I call her my little Jack Russel ;) !

I'll give it a go and ALWAYS monitor the feedings...which is not bad because they both INHALE their food and are done in a minute and a half!

Teddy and sweet, little Katydid

31st March 2007, 03:25 PM
:oops: forgot to mention, I would NEVER leave them un-supervised during meal times. No matter how well behaved they appear to be. We all know that we as humans have our off days :x so do doggies :roll:


Claire, I couldn't agree more! Charlie can be quite food aggressive so when it's feeding time I have to put his 'food lead' on him and hook it over the door handle (don't worry, he can walk halfway across the kitchen with it on!). Then I can put Maxx's bowl down as he will sit and wait. Charlie's bowl then goes down but he will snarf his food so quickly that he has to wait until Maxx finishes before he is allowed off his lead.

If he was allowed off his lead, most of the time he would just wait for Maxx to finish and then lick his bowl out but occasionally he will just run straight over to Maxx and snap at him and start a fight to get his food :roll:

Whenever I've had other dogs here they all just get fed in the kitchen together without any problems. They do all love to check out each others dishes once they're empty though :lol:

31st March 2007, 04:35 PM
I'll give it a go and ALWAYS monitor the feedings...which is not bad because they both INHALE their food and are done in a minute and a half!

This is the thing--I put their bowls down, step back to return things to the refrigerator or whatever, and turn around again to see that they are both finishing up (with their noses still in their own bowls). I'm never more than a couple of steps away from them, and it is really important (IMO) to make sure that they are eating their own food. I don't always feed them exactly the same thing, either, depending on what's going on with them, so that's another reason I keep track of them while they eat. If one of them decides not to finish, I don't want the other to go after the remainders. This is how you get a fat dog.

31st March 2007, 04:39 PM
Ariel is fed in her crate as she likes to steal from her big greyhound brother's dish! :yikes He has never growled at her for that but...And depending on the activity at the time, James may be fed in his crate too. Peaceful even dinnertime.

31st March 2007, 06:18 PM
I wish I had room for crates for the 5 but instead I use tethers and one crate. 4 are absolute food hounds and dear old Shane willingly shares her food with any and all. Chickabee came to me so plump(she had been successful in sharing Shane's food) and immediately I started measuring her food and placing her on a tether. They go to their stations quite enthusiastically and wait for their goodies. At first, I used gates for 2 but found that annoying to me-you know, gates up-gates down icon_whistling .

1st April 2007, 02:22 AM
Mine eat uncrated, but at opposite ends of the room. Amber hoovers her food first (like Claire says, they know their own bowl) and Holly has learnt to eat hers quickly too! Or at least without triple checking the contents of the bowl first for poison. Honestly- Holly was a real little princess before Amber came. Now they're both good eaters so I need to watch to make sure they don't get too much...

Scouty girl
3rd April 2007, 05:49 PM
Before Scout came to live with me I had a dog and two cats they all ate in the same room.

Then Scout came and I was determined they would all eat at the same time in the same room. One cat has since passed on so I have two dogs and one cat. They all eat together in the kitchen. Scout always finishes first, and no I don't think she chews, she can't, she inhales. When she is done she tries to make a quick run to the cat dish, but I'm there to make sure she doesn't do that. After that attempt is failed, she goes over to Breeze's dish and watches her finish eating. Breeze could care less, Scout is very lucky. After Breeze is finished Scout jumps up to her dish for the last licks. All in all it's worked out fairly well.

Of course if I'm not home and some else feeds them.!!!!! They don't understand how I do it.